Tag: expectations

I Got Lucky: Making Peace with the Role of Chance in College Admissions

How did I get accepted to my dream school? The answer to that question is more complicated than many of us might like to admit. Certainly, my own hard work and talents mattered a great deal, but I’m just as certain that another factor played a role: sheer luck.

There are no guarantees when it comes to college admission season, and acknowledging this fact early on will help you to keep your expectations for the application process realistic. Here’s how to make peace with the role of chance in the application process without letting it discourage you from pursuing your dreams.

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Exceptional in High School, Ordinary in College: How to Navigate the Transition

When you’re used to receiving praise and other rewards for standing out from the rest of your high school class, that positive reinforcement becomes an everyday part of your life. Competitive colleges, however, are very different environments—they’re full of high achievers and talented students just like you, and inevitably, many whose talents exceed your own.

So what happens when it’s no longer a given that you’ll be at the top of your class? What do you do when school isn’t as easy anymore, praise and acclaim are harder to come by, or you no longer feel that your academic talents make you quite so special and unique among your peers?

It happened to me. Here’s what I learned about how to accept and appreciate myself for who I am and get comfortable with both my strengths and my weaknesses. Arriving at a college with an illustrious student body shook my sense of identity a little, but with some perspective, I was still able to have an exciting, fulfilling, and challenging college experience.

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Starstruck: How to Deal With Meeting Your Heroes in High School and Beyond

It’s always an exciting experience to meet your heroes in person. Whether you appreciate their work, respect their personal qualities, or just think they’re really cool, these people can have a major impact on your life, and getting to interact with them in real life is an amazing opportunity.

However, it can also be quite stressful. Speaking for myself, meeting someone whom I highly respect comes with the strong chance that I’ll just emit an incoherent squeaking noise in lieu of an insightful comment, and then slink away to hide in the coat closet for the remainder of the event.

Not everyone is that shy, of course, but it’s easy to get flustered when you come face-to-face with a person you’re really excited to meet. Here’s my advice for how to prepare for these situations, approach them with confidence, and put your best foot forward.

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Introverted And In College: Choosing Confidence Over Reserve

I’m an introvert, and a shy one. There’s no questioning that. But for a while, I didn’t understand what being introverted actually meant. The thing is, I had always equated introversion with shyness and extroversion with confidence. I envied extroverts for their outgoing personalities. To me, it was their extroversion that had given them success.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had got it all wrong.

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Opportunity Doesn’t Always Knock: Making Your Own Chances to Shine in High School

Once I started college and got to know my classmates, I realized that some of my peers had done things in high school that seemed absolutely incredible, from high-profile internships to national-level competitive titles to long lists of independent projects. Some were things I never considered for myself; others were things I never knew existed. I was somewhat baffled to find that these otherwise-ordinary people had had such amazing opportunities at such a young age.

Years later, I realized that I had been holding onto a lot of misconceptions about how people accessed exceptional opportunities. I learned some important lessons, which I’d like to pass on to you. Read on for my personal advice on seeking out special opportunities in high school, asking for what you want, and most importantly, believing in yourself enough to turn an idle wish into a solid plan.

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When Do I Start Adulting? Navigating Between Childhood and Adulthood When Preparing For College

Being a teenager can be an exercise in contradictions, and that fact becomes particularly visible as college application season looms. How can you pick the college that’s best for your intended future career when you still have a curfew? How can you ask for help when it seems like you’re supposed to be working on your independence? When it comes down to it, are you an adult or a child?

As with many other issues, the answer to this question is far more complicated than one or the other. Even though it’s uncomfortable, the reality is that when you’re in your late teens, you’re somewhere in between. Read on for how to get more comfortable in that middle ground as you get ready for your transition to college.

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